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When asked if Transgender people were discriminated against, in my favourite Holly Interview, her reply was: “Thank god they do, otherwise I’d be fighting in Vietnam.” Such was her wit and I loved her for it.

Why has Holly inspired me the way she did, and continues to do so? Why is she my kind of Legend? For me she was always the ultimate Warhol superstar, the best and most fabulous one. The one with the most realness. Jackie had the sheer talent and intellectual capacities, Candy the impressive beauty, humour and campness, but Holly had the star factor, coupled with a real feminine beauty and rawness of talent, that, when she wasn’t completely off her head (and maybe because she was usually) shone with a special kind of vigour and rebellion. Never taking herself seriously, never driven by ego, she was, and always will be to me, an inspiration. She made it Ok to be different. You don’t have to be trans to know different. Believe me: this woman knows what it is not to fit in. But her pioneering work, alongside Jayne County and many others, is so underrated in today’s media landscape, where pioneers don’t matter and where credit is not given to the once who paved the way.

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She performed a show in Berlin a few years ago, and stupidly, i missed it. However I’d heard that she was doing a little appearance at the Arsenal cinema the next evening, and on four hours sleep (hence looking so rough in the photos) I threw on a coat and rushed there. I went downstairs and there she was sitting, alone with her assistant, in the lobby. I shyly asked if it would be ok to say hello, and that I was the one who had written that song about her, but that she probably wouldn’t remember. She immediately waved for me to come and sit with her. We spent the entire evening together.

I told her how much I loved her work and that I was the singer she’d been told about by friends we had in common. She asked me to sing a few notes and as I burst into ‘Maybe this time’ she joined in. We sang loud and off-key but she just kept going, asking me to sing it again and again. We laughed so much, fearing that we’d be thrown out. She asked me to come on stage with her and sing. I declined saying: ‘This is your night, not mine’. “Bullshit’ she said, but I declined.

We talked and I was thrilled to be told stories about Andy and the other girls. She told me that she did not have one bad word to say about Andy and that without him, she wouldn’t be sitting here. She also said kind words about Paul. Morissey. This attitude of acceptance I had seen her display in many interviews and I have always found it to be most humble and kind, quite unlike some of the other stars.

She asked me if I wanted to join her the next morning at the hotel and I said yes. I brought her some CD’s of mine. She wouldn’t stop talking about our singing and she was still so thrilled about that.
Later, I was told, she also listened to my CD’s a lot and loved the music.

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George Cukor, the famous movie director, had campaigned for her to be nominated for an Oscar for Trash, in the role of best female, but the story goes that at that time the board just wasn’t ready for this kind of female. They said that it was too late to nominate but they were probably freaked out. I do believe the Oscar nomination should have gone to her. And in my book, of course, the Oscar too.

Holly is my kind of star and always will be. I will miss knowing that she is on this planet, but I know that she will be back and serve the next dose of fabulousness.

I didn’t want to post the video, because a. I look so tired and b. you can see how shy and nervous I was. But all vanity must take a back seat and here’s our little impromptu session at the foyer at Berlin Arsenal.

Holly will be missed by many. And those who don’t know who she was better do their homework, because without her they wouldn’t be where they are today.

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#hollywoodlawn #andywarhol #trash #legend

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